There was no DETERMINISTIC opposition to Zarathushtra, he had no reason to defend contingency because contingency was never questioned among the Indo-Iranian tribes. He had opponents for OTHER reasons, for example against shortsighted "might is right"-thinking and "superstitious beliefs", not this issue. And Spinoza's determinism is a SOFT determinism, not closed and definite as later interpretors would have it. You have to remember what Spinoza is reacting AGAINST, he is the first anti-Cartesian. So his stance is that rationality should begin with understanding how LITTLE we can affect the world when the world is contingent. THIS is his determinism, a determinism of contingency rather than a classic closed determinism. There is no way Nietzsche and Deleuze would have celebrated Spinoza otherwise. In our work, Söderqvist and I do not refer to Spinoza as a "rationalist" as he called himself but rather as the first western "transrationalist". So was Zarathushtra!
2009/9/23 Special Kain
That's exactly my stance (as stated below): Contingency is the very condition of ethics.
But weren't the Mitra priests Zarathushtra's opponents? And how turn Spinoza into a Zoroastrian thinker when he clearly stated that we were living in a deterministic universe (with little chance for anyone to interfere on one's own will) rather than an indeterminate universe?
--- Alexander Bard
Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Zoroastrian process philosophy
Datum: Dienstag, 22. September 2009, 12:05
The reason why Zarathushtra PRACTICES process philosophy (he is the first philosopher of a "will" in human history!) rather than DISCUSSES the issue is because process philosophy only become san issue when it is raised AGAINST deterministic philosophy. In other words: Heraclitus had Plato. But Zarathuhtra had no Plato to oppose since contingency was a fundamental truth rather than an issue of discussion to Indo-Europeans 3,700 years ago. This is why it is so creative and improtant to us to read Zarathushtra through the glasses of the later process philosophers. And as for contingency, it is the very condition of Zarathushtra's ethics: Why else would he ask us to control and direct our thoughts, words and actions??? In a deterministic world, such a PROCESS would be absolutely impossible!! !
2009/9/22 Special Kain
Three statements that require further investigation and criticism:
(1) Zarathushtra was a process philosopher.
(2) Any process philosophy presupposes the issue of contingency: things could have turned out differently, future events are indeterminate.
(3) If things could have turned out differently and future events were indeterminate, this would lead to ethics rather than moralism which is concerned with strict rules and obedience, whereas ethics is concerned with who we are to ourselves and future thoughts, words and actions based on this question of identity.
So we should have a look at how different process philosophers (Zarathushtra, Heraclitus, Whitehead, Dewey, Nietzsche) addressed the issue of contingency. What where their questions and answers?